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National Leprosy Eradication Programme

Introduction

The National Leprosy Eradication Programme is a centrally sponsored Health Scheme under the National Health Mission of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India. The Programme is headed by the Deputy Director of Health Services (Leprosy ) under the administrative control of the Directorate General Health Services, Govt. of India. While the NLEP strategies and plans are formulated centrally, the programme is implemented by the States/UTs. 

The major concern of the Programme is to detect cases of leprosy at an early stage and provide complete treatment, free of cost, in order to prevent occurrence of Grade II Disability (G2D) in affected persons.

India has achieved the elimination of leprosy as a public health problem as per WHO criteria of less than 1 case per 10,000 population at the National level in 2005. However, there are few districts within States where leprosy is still endemic. 

Vision

“Leprosy-free India” is the vision of the NLEP.

Objectives

  • To reduce Prevalence rate less than 1/10,000 population at sub national and district level.
  • To reduce Grade II disability % < 1 among new cases at National level
  • To reduce Grade II disability cases < 1 case per million population at National level.
  • Zero disabilities among new Child cases.
  • Zero stigma and discrimination against persons affected by leprosy.

Strategies for Leprosy elimination in India

  • Integrated anti-leprosy services through General Health Care system.
  • Early detection and complete treatment of new leprosy cases.
  • Carrying out household contact survey for early detection of cases.
  • Involvement of Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) in the detection and completion of treatment of Leprosy cases on time.
  • Strengthening of Disability Prevention and Medical Rehabilitation (DPMR) services.
  • Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activities in the community to improve self-reporting to Primary Health Centre (PHC) and reduction of stigma.
  • Intensive monitoring and supervision at Health and Wellness Centers and Block Primary Health Centre/Community Health Centre.

Milestones in NLEP

  • 1955 - National Leprosy Control Programme (NLCP) launched
  • 1983 - National Leprosy Eradication Programme launched
  • 1983 - Introduction of Multidrug therapy (MDT) in   Phases
  • 2005 - Elimination of Leprosy at National Level
  • 2012 - Special action plan for 209 high endemic  districts in 16 States/UTs
  • 2014 - Upgraded Simplified Information system implementation
  • 2016 - Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016
  • 2017- 2019
    New Initiatives
    • Active Case Detections Campaigns (14 days) in high endemic districts
    • Focused Leprosy Campaign (FLC) in low endemic districts
    • ASHA Based Surveillance for Leprosy Suspects (ABSULS)
    • Grade II Disability Epidemiological Investigation
    • Implementation of Post Exposure Prophylaxis (administration of Single Dose of Rifampicin)
    • Sparsh Leprosy Awareness Campaigns
    • Introduction of NIKUSTH - A real time leprosy reporting software across India
  • 2019
    • External Evaluation of NLEP by World Health Organisation
    • Convergence of leprosy screening with Comprehensive Primary Health Care programme of Ayushman Bharat, to screen 30+ years population at HWCs
    • Convergence of leprosy screening  with Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) to screen children (0-18 years) at Anganwadi Centers and Govt. schools
  • 2020
    • Active Case Detection and Regular Surveillance (ACD&RS) guidelines rolled out.
    • Further, with a view to scale up the screening, leprosy has been converged under Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) and Rashtriya Kishore Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK) for screening of children (0-18 years). Besides, population based screening of women and men of age 30 years and above has been included in Comprehensive Primary Health Care under Ayushman Bharat at the Health and Wellness Centres.

Achievements as on 2021-22

A few major achievements under NLEP are as follows:

  • Prevalence rate has decreased to 0.41per 10,000 population in 2020-21.
  • Annual New Cases Detection Rate has declined to 4.58/100000 in 2020-21
  • Child cases percentage among new cases detected has reduced to 5.76 % in 2020-21.
  • Percentage of Grade 2 Disability among new cases detected has decreased to 2.48 % in 2020- 21.
  • The G2D amongst new cases per million population is decreased to 1.14 per million population in 2020-21.

Institutions

Four premier Leprosy Institutes are working under Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health & F.W., Government of India viz. CLTRI, Chengalpattu, RLTRI, at Aska, Raipur and Gouripur are involved in research (basic and applied ) in Leprosy and Training of different categories of staff involved for Leprosy elimination. These Institutes also play important role in management of referral patients, providing quality care to chronic ulcer and disabled patients with the help of Minor & Major Reconstructive Surgeries. These Institutes also help in supervising and providing consultancy services to the State NLEP Units for better programme planning and implementation.

Central Leprosy Teaching & Research Institute (CLTRI) Chengalpattu (Tamil Nadu)

The Central Leprosy Teaching  and Research Institute (CLT & RI), Chengalpattu was established in 1955 by the Government of India by taking over Lady Wellington Leprosy Sanatorium establish in 1924. Later, in 1974, Govt. Of India had made CLT & RI as a subordinate office of the Directorate General Health Services, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare with an objective to provide diagnostic, treatment and referral services to leprosy patients , trained manpower development for leprosy, control/elimination, beside research on various aspects of leprosy  and its control.

 It has separate wings of Epidemiology and statistics, Clinical, Medicine, Microbiology and Biochemistry laboratories with Animal House Facilities, Surgery and Physiotherapy. This Institute caters services to both indoor and out patients. The hospital has a bed capacity of 124 patients. 

To know more, visit https://cltri.gov.in/

Regional Leprosy Training & Research Institue (RLT&RI) Raipur, Chhattisgarh

RLTRI, Raipur establish in the year 1979 with the aim to provide training  research and treatment for the leprosy affected persons.

To know more, visit http://rltrird.cg.gov.in/

Regional Leprosy Training & Research Institute (RLT&RI) Aska, Odisha 

Establish the year 1977, the Institute has a 50 beded hospital and works as a referral center for management difficult to diagnose leprosy cases and problematic, complicated  and intractable cases of reaction and ulcers. Surgical procedures are carried out regularly and RCS (reconstructive Surgery ) camps have been done in the past . It also works as a nodal training and research center for the cause of leprosy elimination.

Regional Leprosy Training & Research Institute (RLT&RI), Gouripur, Bankura (West Bengal):

The Institute was established in 1984.

The institute is located at a village named Gauripur which is well connected with the district town bankura (12 Kms), Kolkata city (240 Kms) Durgapur town (56 Kms) kharagpur Jn. (130 Kms). 

Source: Directorate General of Health Services,Government of India



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